Hey Kids!  Here is your  At-Home Devotional and Archive Page

 

 

Sunday, May 31 – Pentecost Sunday "Happy Birthday to the Church!"       

This is already the last day of May!  Wow!  Where did the month go?   Today is also a special holiday that we celebrate in our church each year- Pentecost Sunday.  The date is always 50 days after Easter and marks the event when the Holy Spirit down came upon the disciples “like tongues of fire”. This is why we decorate the altar in red, and wear red clothing.  Flames, rushing wind, and the descending dove also represent the Holy Spirit, so they are symbols used at Pentecost.  Large gatherings of people were in Jerusalem due to the Jewish observance of Shavuot, or the Feast of Weeks, taking place seven weeks after Passover.  Devout Jews from many areas of the world came together for this remembrance of when God gave Moses the Ten Commandments.  After receiving the Holy Spirit, the disciples began speaking in all sorts of foreign languages, without any previous knowledge of them, so that everyone could understand.

Read Act 2:1-42 and answer these questions.  What was the reaction(s) of the crowd when the believers began speaking in various languages?  Why did Peter accuse the audience of killing Jesus?  About how many people were added to their group after believing and being baptized?  Peter was the disciple who had denied Jesus when he was arrested and tried, but now what was he doing?  Why did Jesus send the Holy Spirit?  Why was it important to get the gospel message of Jesus to many different groups of people?  Why is this event often called “the birthday of the church”?

Here are some ideas for observing Pentecost Sunday:

Wear red, light a candle, make an origami dove.  (Here is a video link that shows how you could do this.)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O8sU6jnjYaU

Bake a birthday cake and sing “Happy Birthday to the Church!”

Sing “I am the Church”. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ughMVTMhCuc  Pay close attention to the fifth verse, which talks about Pentecost.

There are many names we use to describe the Holy Spirit.  Think of some before reading this list.

The Holy Spirit is our comforter, teacher, helper, guide, advocate, strength, and more.  Jesus gives every believer this gift, so that He could be with each of His followers all the time and everywhere!

When Jesus ascended into heaven, He gave His disciples these instructions, known as the Great Commission, “Go, then to all peoples everywhere and make them my disciples; baptize them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, and teach them to obey everything I have commanded you.  And I will be with you always, to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:19-20)

Pray that you will be filled to overflowing with the Holy Spirit, so that you can spread the Good News of Jesus to others.

 


 

Wednesday, June 3 – Shine Like the Stars

God has all sorts of surprises that brighten our day!  While eating a bowl of cereal topped with blueberries, I noticed that when I poured milk over them, a star shape appeared on the bottom of each blueberry.  Have you ever cut open an apple across the middle and seen a star inside formed by the seeds?  There is also a special 'starfruit' whose slices reveal star shapes.  Yes, God pays attention to details and has fashioned creation in beauty and splendor.

Try examining the fruit mentioned above, or go out in the evening and check out the stars in the sky.  It is true that the heavens declare the glory of God and the wonder of His works. (Psalm 19:1)

Go on a nature walk.  Pay close attention to the spring flowers and the blossoms of flowering trees.  Notice the intricate centers and petals, and why Jesus declares in Matthew 6:29 that “not even King Solomon with all his wealth had clothes as beautiful as one of these flowers.”

Look up the following verses: Daniel 12:3, and Genesis 15:5.  God promised Abraham that he would be the father of as many children as stars in the sky.  I guess that makes us stars, since we are descendants of Father Abraham.  That reminds me of a song!

Practice singing together as a family.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ASXowiv3FAc

One way you can shine, is by brightening someone’s day.  Make a video of your family singing “Father Abraham” and share it by sending it to phopkins1@q.com.

Think of ways you might bring joy to others - and do them!

Sunday, May 24 – The Journey of Life       

Today in our on-line church worship service, we are honoring the high school seniors for completing their education from kindergarten through 12th grade.  Many of you are on this path, and look forward to each grade level, as you learn new skills, and grow in knowledge.  As you journey through life, it is important to take with you the wisdom God is teaching you through His Word (the Bible), your parents, Sunday School teachers, your pastors and youth leaders, and other Godly examples.  We must stay on the straight and narrow path, where God is leading, and not be tempted to wander away from Him.  Think of your life as a road, and make sure you listen to God’s Positioning Service (GPS).

Read Proverbs 3: 5-6, and 4:25-27, 14-15, and note the reference to paths.

Sing “Thy Word is a Lamp unto My Feet”.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Afz0q0cQjlI

Did you know that the lyrics of the chorus is a quote from Psalm119:105?  Memorize the refrain of the song, and you will have learned this scripture.  Each time you open your Bible, sing this passage to remind you to listen to God’s directions.

What kind of career might you choose in life?  The opportunities are endless…fireman, teacher, truck driver, banker, mail carrier, farmer, chef, etc.  It’s fun to imagine what kind of job you might have as an adult.  When your parents ask you to do a chore, think of this as an experience that might prepare you for your life work.  Do the job cheerfully and do your best, as if you are doing it for the Lord.

Play a game of charades where you must act out a profession and see if your family members can guess what it is, OR draw a picture of yourself with the caption “When I grow up, I want to be a ___________________.”  Be sure to date it, and while you’re at it, have your parents check your height and weight and record these measurements on the paper.

 

Monday, May 25 – Memorial Day  

If we were still attending school, there would be no classes today.  This is a national holiday, which first began in 1868, as an observance of all the soldiers who died in the Civil War.  Since that time, it is a day to remember all the brave men and women who have died defending our country while serving in the military.  Originally celebrated on May 30th, it is now always the last Monday in May.  It is sometimes called Decoration Day, because we decorate the graves of those who have died.  Often fallen war heroes have graves marked with American flags.  Today, take time to pray to God, thanking Him for those who fought valiantly to make sure we have freedom in our nation.  Look up this verse and commit it to memory, John 15:13 - “Greater love hath no man than this that he lay down his life for a friend.”  Jesus lay down His life for us, and He wants us to be willing to do the same.                                                            As a family, visit the cemetery or the monument by Riverfront Drive.  Proudly display an American flag in front of your home, or put out a sign of remembrance and thanks in your yard.

Call or visit someone you know who has been in the Military, thanking him/her for serving, and asking about what it was like or if they remember a comrade who was killed.

Look up on-line information about the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery.

 

Wednesday, May 27 – The Parable of the Sower

There is still time to get those seeds in the ground.  Here is a parable, or story used by Jesus to prove a point or teach a lesson of life.

As a family, read the Parable of the Sower in Luke 8:4-15.

Just as Jesus told the fishermen, Peter, James, and John to be fishers of men, Jesus is using the picture of a sower or farmer.  Instead of sowing seed, we are to sow or broadcast the Gospel.  In other words, tell people about Jesus.  God will do the rest.  Pray that the message will fall on good soil, meaning a heart and mind ready and open to accept that Jesus loves them and wants them to follow Him.  He loved them so much, in fact, that He gave His life, so that they might live forever with Him.  Now that’s Good News worth sharing with everyone!

Take a walk, share a smile and words of kindness to those you meet (while still keeping your distance).

Make heart shaped messages and place them on your neighbors’ door.

Check out this version of the parable.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tb7bvF5Ucrk

 

 

  Wednesday, May 20 – Seeds of Hope                                                              

Jesus is our hope.  He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life.  Without Him, our lives are lost, and we can do nothing.  In the Bible, there are many references to growing things.   Romans 5:15, for instance, compares our lives to the branches on a vine.  Jesus is the vine, where we draw our strength and direction for living our lives.  Have you ever cut a branch off a tree or vine?  Without being attached to the plant, it no longer grows, and it will die.  This is what is meant by “apart from me, you can do nothing”.  We need to abide in Christ, or remain attached to the vine, so that we can “bear fruit”.  But instead of growing grapes, the fruit we are supposed to bear - is changed lives.  Our job as branches is to help lead people to Christ through our words, actions, prayers, and resources.  How do we point people to Christ?  How do we put Jesus first, and live for Him more and less for ourselves?  Think of ways you can get the message of Jesus to the world, or to those around you that don’t know about him.  Maybe invite someone to watch one of our church’s on-line worship services, and then later, ask them to come to church with you, when we are able to meet together again. 

Sing “His Banner Over Me Is Love”.  Pay special attention to the verse “Jesus is the vine, and we are the branches”.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uxgw6pbW59E 

          Have you planted your Seeds of Hope flower seeds?  Remember ... they were in your "Jesus in My Boat" - May Day Baskets.  Don't forget to prepare the soil first, plant them where they will get plenty of sunshine, and water them as needed.  Growing seeds is a lot like growing faith.  It takes time, the right conditions, and lots of TLC.                                                                                                                                                               Just for fun, listen to the Arnold Lobel classic from his Frog and Toad series in which Toad plants a garden.  We don’t advise reading to your plants, but it always helps to prayer over them.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j-4FxBAbKd8 

 

  Sunday, May 17 – Meet the Original Master Gardener                     

May is the perfect time to grow a garden.  Do you know who planted the very first garden?  God did, and He called it the Garden of Eden.  It was beautiful, lush, and full of life.  The garden contained plants and animals lovely to look at and fruits and vegetables delicious to eat.  God created this special paradise, so that people could dwell with Him there.  Do you know the names of the first man and woman?  Yes, Adam and Eve.  They walked with God each day, enjoying His company, and the bounty of the incredible garden, which He had made.  God was so generous to them, allowing them to eat from any of the trees, except for one.  How’s that for a grand smorgasbord?  (ask Mom and Dad what that means)  Anyone would be content with such variety and quantity.  How come the thing we can’t have, seems to attract us all the more?  Well, Satan, in the form of a snake, was also living in this wonderful garden, and he dared Eve to go ahead and taste the forbidden fruit.  Adam did not try to stop her, but went ahead and ate from it, as well.  That was the beginning of the end.  It was one little mistake, but a very costly one, since it was a deliberate act of disobedience against God. 

Watch this video which tells this true story.    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VG3D9EOwSyc 

Kids, our lives can be beautiful when we obey God’s commands and walk with Him each day.  Because they had disobeyed God, Adam and Eve had to leave the peaceful garden and live difficult lives, working hard, experiencing pain, and ending in death.  Of course, we know the rest of the story, that centuries later, God, in the form of a man, came to earth to rescue us.  Jesus died as a sacrifice for our sins, and resurrected from the dead, so that we might be saved from our sins, and live forever with Him! 

As a family, take turns reading Genesis 2:46-3:24, about the Garden of Eden and the punishment that came upon Adam and Eve.  Afterwards, have each member of the family draw three pictures: 

     1. what you think the Garden of Eden must have looked like when everything was good, 

     2. when the snake tempted Eve and Adam, 

     3. and the punishment that came upon them, when they were forced to leave the garden. 

When everyone is done drawing, make it a guessing game, by mixing up each group of pictures and sorting out which came first, second, and last.  Don’t compare artistic ability, just have fun!

 

Wednesday, May 13th – The Butterfly-Angel Story

          Do you know the secret of true happiness?  Pastor Christina included the following story, translated from a Korean folk tale, in her sermon last Sunday.  The moral of the story is that being thankful is the key to being truly happy, or content.  Instead of wishing for more or different things, give thanks for what you do have and trust God to meet all of your needs.  Elizabeth Hopkins narrates the story, and Carolyn Kester (Paul and Elizabeth's daughter) drew the pictures.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hCFRxVd2IK4

 Read the story of the Ten Lepers, Luke 17:11-19.  Check out this video of the story.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LzZUDRrKgI8

 How must God feel when we enjoy all He gives us without stopping to thank Him?  Is there someone who has done something for you or your family that you should thank?  Make a phone call or write a thank you note.  The Bible tells us “In everything, give thanks! (1 Thes. 5:18)  How is it possible to give thanks for everything, even the coronavirus?

 As a family, make a thankful box and throughout the week, write down things for which you are thankful and place them in the box.  At the end of the week, take turns reading each item aloud and having everyone respond by repeating 1 Thes. 5:18.   Sing “Give Thanks With a Grateful Heart” as a prayer at mealtime.

 Here's a link to the song if you need to hear it again.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BV_OHTCzoZc 

 

Sunday, May 10th – I am thankful for my mom! 

          Today is Mother’s Day, a holiday set aside to remember our moms and give her the thanks that she deserves.  (If Mom is with you now, why don’t you give her permission to go read a book, take a nap, or have some alone time, while you and Dad continue with this section.) 

Think about all the things your mother does each day, and make a list, from cooking and cleaning to reading stories and tucking you in bed at night.  Pretty impressive!  No wonder the word “MOM” turned upside down spells “WOW”!  Next, make another list of things that make your mom happy.  Remember what they say, “If Mom’s not happy, nobody is happy!”  See how many thing you can come up with, and then think of a creative way to express your thanks.  If she does not enjoy eating her breakfast in bed, don’t plan to make this part of your way to honor Mom!  Think of something she would like…If her love language is quality time, then think of a fun family activity.  If she feels appreciated with acts of service, why not wash the dishes, or better yet, the windows.  When you are serving her, giving her honor and respect, you are also glorifying God and obeying the fifth   commandment.  Look it up in the Old Testament of your Bible, Exodus 20:12, and find out what God promises for you when you give your mom and dad the devotion and admiration they deserve.  “WOW!  MOM!” Throughout the day, or week, catch Mom doing something from your list, and “wow” her with a special “thank you”.  

Place your hands on each side of your face with palms forward, holding three fingers, spread out to form W’s.  Make your mouth in the shape of an O, to spell out the word “WOW”.  Then turn hands upside down, with palms backward, to form M’s, while saying, “WOW! MOM!  It’s sure to get her attention, and make her smile!  You might want to have Dad read aloud your list of things Mom does, and give a “WOW! MOM!” after each item.  Moms Make Things Happen, including Miracles!            

    (Mom can join you for this part.)                                        

Read the account of the first miracle that Jesus performed.  It is found in the New Testament, John 2:1-11. Jesus seemed hesitant at first, but proceeded to obey his mother.  Mary had great confidence in Him, but after all, she knew He was God in human form. (Changing water into wine would sure come in handy during this quarantine, when maybe you are running short on milk or juice!)  Kids, your mom has great confidence in you too.  She knows that you are a gift from God and that He has great plans for your life.  Your parents want God’s very best for you, and are praying for your health, safety, and that you will love the Lord with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength.  They take their role as your parents very seriously, so be wise and listen to what they say.  Remember, God has promised you a long and fulfilling life when you obey and honor your parents.  Read Proverbs 1:8-9 and 15:20.  Older children may want to get in the habit of reading one of the 30 books of Proverbs each day during the month.

 Read a Mother's Day Story!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UYFZGemQtF8

 Do you have a large button you could use to make your own craft like the one at the end of the story?

 Want another one?  Check out this twist on another holiday classic.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fC4GN0sEJi8 

 

Thursday May 7th – National Day of Prayer 

          This is an annual observance designated by Congress that our country will turn to prayer for our nation, our governmental leaders at all levels, law enforcement, fire department, schools, and families.  God on-line to take part in special observances.                                                                    Please set aside time to make prayer an emphasis.  To print this page, simply save the image, then print.

 

  

Take time this week to listen to the lesson about Jesus in the Storm.  Make sure He is in your boat!                                      https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=3&v=Wh6DajtKZEA&feature=emb_logo  

 

Sunday, May 3rd – Child in Prayer

           Do you know that you can be a Super Hero?  Yes, God is looking for Powerful Prayer Warriors!  These are persons of any age, willing to devote time with the Lord, coming before the holy throne of God, wanting to fight the evils of the world, and delivering the requests of earthlings into the hands of the Almighty Master of the Universe!  Although He already knows what you need, God is waiting to hear from you.  Just like a loving father, He wants to honor your requests and give you good things.  Sometimes He doesn’t give you exactly what you ask for, so we have to trust Him.  After all, He knows what’s best and that’s what He wants for you.

 Here are some Bible verses about prayer to guide you on your quest.                                            

 1) Talk to God as you would your own dad.  Be real and personal.  In Mark 14:36  Jesus refers to God as "Abba", which means “Father”.                          Read also Matt. 7:1-11, which gives examples of how much God cares.

 2) Speak to God throughout t the day, even when you lie down, and first thing in the morning when you wake up.                                                                    Read Psalm 5:3.  In fact, the Bible tells us in 1 Thes. 5:17, to pray continually.                                             

 3) Trust that your prayers will be heard and God will answer.  As 1 John 14-15 puts it, “We have courage in God’s presence, because we are            sure that He hears us if we ask Him for anything that is according to His will.  He hears us whenever we ask him.

 For more training on prayer ... check out this video!  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZrdlXOk_QdQ

  

 Wednesday, April 29th – Praying Girl           

          Have you ever heard the term “prayer bones”?  Do you know what these are?  They happen to refer to your knees, as you kneel on the ground to show reverence and pray to God.  We can pray in many positions.  There is a story about three pastors who were discussing this very thing.  The first pastor thought it best to pray on bended knees.  The second insisted that the best posture for praying was standing with his hands raised to heaven.  The third pastor thought lying prostrate with his face on the ground expressed great humility.   During this discussion, a utility repairman was listening to the conversation and couldn’t help giving his opinion.  He interrupted to tell them that, without a doubt, hanging upside down from a wire was the most effective way to pray.  A few months earlier, he was working on a utility pole, when he slipped, fell, and found himself dangling upside down from the line, resulting in some very serious praying!                                                                                                        Read Luke 11:1-13, to hear how Jesus taught His disciples to pray.  Sing along with this familiar song, containing words from this                                                               passage, “Seek Ye First”.    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gJkNXViYihU                                                                            Now read from Matthew 6:5-8, 14-15, where Jesus tells how not to pray.  Why is it important to forgive those who do wrong to you?  Why does God not want a lot of fancy talk when we pray?  Why should we pray to God in secret?  Do you have a quiet place to get alone with Jesus? Consider making your own “War Room” prayer closet.   Use sticky notes to post your prayer requests on the walls.

 

Sunday, April 26th – Rainbow

          A Rainbow is a sign of hope after the storm.  They appear when the rain subsides and the sunlight is shining through the tiny water droplets in the sky.  Read Genesis 8:20-9:17 to discover the reason God made rainbows.  What was the first thing Noah did after getting the animals off of the ark?  Was God pleased?  What was the covenant God made using the rainbow as the sign?  How can you thank God for His promises?

          Just as Noah built an altar, maybe you can make an altar for your worship times at home.  Think about the items on our altar at church.  Find appropriate items that would honor God by focusing on Jesus.  Be sure to set your Bible upon it when you are not using it.

Make Rainbow Toast.  Ask your mom or dad to help you.  Place a small amount of milk into six muffin pan sections.  Add drops of food coloring to form the colors of the rainbow.  Use new watercolor brushes to paint the colored milk onto a slice of white bread.  Toast the bread in the toaster and watch the colors brighten.  Enjoy eating your snack and thank God for always keeping His promises.  Here are a few of them:        "I will never leave you and I will never abandon you." (Heb. 13:5b),  " Jesus is the same, yesterday, today, and forever." (Heb. 13:8b),  "Nothing can separate us from the love of God." (Rom. 8:38),  "He promises good to come out of bad situations."  (Romans 8:28),  "Jesus is preparing a place for us" (John 14:3), and "He is coming back again." (Acts 1:11)

 

Wednesday, April 22 – Dove           

          A dove is often used as a symbol of peace.  As a family, read Genesis 8:1-19.                                                                                             What bird did Noah send out first?  How many times was the dove sent out?  What did it mean when the dove returned with a fresh olive branch in its beak?  What happened the last time the dove was sent out?  How many days altogether, were Noah, his family, and the animals on board the ark?  Get the calendar and figure out how many days you have been staying at home.                                                        Take heart, and pray for endurance during this period of quarantine.  Thank God for the safety of your home, your family, and for His loving care.  Be patient, helpful, and understanding with those around you.                                       

          Make your own Noah’s Ark fort.  Do you have some dolls and stuffed animals to use for the characters?  Pair them up and figure out where each will stay.  Pretend it is raining, and then have the sun come out.  Play this humorous Noah's Ark video of “Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head”, by clicking here - https://youtu.be/rX1ZwbAe-Qo                                                                                                                                                        What is the meaning of the scripture in Isaiah 55:11, “God’s word will not return void.”  Think of a way you could send out a message, containing an encouraging word from the Bible.  Who knows?  Maybe you will get an answer back, like the dove who returned with the fresh, olive branch.  If not, trust that you helped to brighten someone’s day and that your thoughtful act pleased God!

 

Sunday, April 19 – Noah's Ark

The Bible story of Noah’s Ark is a childhood favorite.  Read it as a family in Genesis 6:5- 7:22.  (We will continue reading the rest of the story for the next two devotionals.)                                                                                                                                                                                                      We usually think of charming pictures depicting Noah’s Ark.  But being aboard a boat full of animals for 40 days and 40 nights of heavy rain, and staying on the ark for months after that, was probably not much fun.  You might feel like Noah and his family, since you have been staying indoors and away from other people for such a long time.   Like a loving parent, God cared about Noah, and cares about you.  Instead of thinking of Noah and his family as trapped and tired inside of a crowded boat, let’s think of the ark as a “life raft”.  The reason God gave Noah detailed instructions on how to build the ark was to keep him and his family safe during the flood.  God also wanted to save all species of animals and plants, so the ark represented the way to life.  Everyone who wants to be saved has to enter through a narrow door.  Jesus is like that door and the ark can be a symbol for eternal life.  Jesus invites us to come aboard when we repent of our sinful, wicked ways.   When we receive His gift of life, and learn to follow Him, we have a future filled with hope and promise.                                                                                                                                 In Williamstown, Kentucky, there is a life-sized Noah’s Ark.  Look at the information about it on the website.  https://arkencounter.com/

Think of the marvel of building such a huge structure and what the neighbors might have said and thought, since it had never rained on the earth until that time in history.  Consider the organization it would have taken to find all these living things, and to provide for their care away from their natural habitats.  Do you recall the Noah’s Ark at the back of our church sanctuary?   If you were in church, you might get one of the activity bags that are hung on it.  Get some paper and crayons and make your own picture of how the ark may have looked.                      

Sing “Rise and Shine”. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wHcypSv4ltY

Learn the actions to go with it.  The chorus goes, “Rise and shine, and give God the glory, glory”.  Maybe your mom will use this as a wake-up song to get you out of bed in the morning. 

 

 

Men's Group - Video Study

The Iron Sharpens Iron Men’s Conferences in Davenport, IA (March 28)

and Cedar Rapids, IA (April 4) have been cancelled


 

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